George Floyd, and too many others

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis last week.

The officer who killed him, and the three others who stood by and let it happen, were summarily fired, but in spite of video, none were arrested or charged until protests turned to riot.

The killer, officer Derik Chauvin had at least 17 misconduct complaints, mostly for excessive force, yet nothing was done.

The government, which records much data, somehow fails to record how many civilians are killed by police each year, but independent groups do keep track and the number is typically over 1000. The police kill black people at a rate almost three times the rate at which they kill white people. See for example

I have some modest suggestions.

  • Cancel and renegotiate all police union contracts so that bad officers can be successfully removed from the force.
  • Write legislation to fix 42 USC section 1983, which permits people to sue the government for civil rights violations. The courts have pretty well eviscerated this law, so that it is nearly impossible to successfully sue in spite of the most egregious violations. Search for “qualified immunity”.
  • Require that all police killings be investigated and if appropriate, prosecuted by arms length teams who have no relationships with the local force. It is clearly obvious that local prosecutors will not do their jobs. All investigations must be made public. It is too important for anyone to hide behind privacy.
  • Any officer who kills a civilian should be placed in a desk job for at least a year. Every police killing <must> be tried by a jury of the public. Maybe it was justified, maybe not, but you don’t get a second chance to kill the people you are supposed to protect. All proceding must be made public.
  • All police discipline records must be public. Doctors have this, are they killing unarmed black men?
  • Terminated officers must not be rehired by any other police force.

I really don’t condone rioting, looting, or burning down cities as forms of protest, but since nothing less seems to work, I do understand the impulse.

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